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Paramount Bows Duo of Bertolucci Classics

25 Nov, 2006 By: Billy Gil

Paramount Home Entertainment will give a nod to acclaimed Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci Dec. 5 when it releases for the first time on DVD two of his films: The Conformist and 1900.

The Conformist ($14.99) tells the story of a man in 1938 Italy who becomes a Mussollini drone, coerced into arranging a former professor's assassination. It was nominated in 1970 for best adapted screenplay.

Featurettes include “The Rise of The Conformist,” which tells how the film was adapted from the novel “Il Conformista” and introduces the film's characters and cast; “Shadow and Light: Filming The Conformist,” which explores the film's lighting and composition; and “The Conformist: Breaking New Ground,” which details the insertion of a newly discovered deleted scene, and features a new interview with Bertolucci and director of photography Vittorio Storaro.

The 1976 film 1900 is being released as a two-DVD collector's edition ($19.99) containing the original five-hour film, plus two featurettes.

One featurette explores the film's story, cast (which includes Robert De Niro, G?rard Depardieu, Burt Lancaster and Donald Sutherland), genesis and historical context. Another featurette, “Creating an Epic,” has Bertolucci and Storaro discussing the film's epic look and feel, and some of its more controversial scenes.

The film details the history of Italy from 1900 to 1945 from the viewpoint of two men — one a wealthy landowner, one a labor leader — who share a friendship despite class division.

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